Good morning brothers!
I hope all is well – the weather has gone from over 80 degrees to the low 30’s with snow in the last 48 hours here in Illinois… which has just destroyed my mood…
No matter. Life goes on. I wanted to share a few tips with y’all that a good friend of mine shared with me a while back. I simply call him Brother Ron D. Brother Ron D likes to fish with light line and light gear. He also likes to tinker, and last year he started to email me so we could talk shop a bit. We’ve discussed technique(s), as well as modifications – I’ll share some of those with you all at a later date as well…
Remember the other day we talked about my buddy, Brother Marty? I met him through email as well, and we celebrated his recent victories:
As important as it is that we celebrate our victories, I think we also need to share quality information with one another. What’s working. Why it’s working. So I’d invite each and every one of you that has either a recent catch to celebrate, or a tip or trick to share to let me know so I can continue to improve – heck, so we can ALL improve – and share what’s working with each other.
With that said – let’s jump into some light line techniques & tips!
Fishing With Light Line: Tips & Technique
AJ – Wishing you a healthy 2023!!
I was very encouraged by your latest blog about fishing with light line. As you know, that’s how I roll. And let me tell you, Matt Straw is correct. For the fish we are targeting (Largemouth bass, 5 pounds or so) light line will absolutely land them. I have been preaching this FOREVER. It is (but also isn’t) perplexing to me why people don’t use lighter line. Let me explain…
As bass fisherman, we study things to nearly an obsessive degree. We obsess over the weather, structure, lures, our gear, what the fish want, what the fish don’t want, etc etc. But one area I see bass fisherman overlook or outright ignore is actually fighting and landing bass; this part of bass fishing is the most enjoyable to me. The fight… the battle. But most bass fisherman have no idea how to do this.
Because they use heavy super-lines. So there’s really no reason to learn this extremely important skill. Look at the very top of the sport. Ever watch a bass professional reel in a fish? They just rip it in as fast as possible. Sometime the fish even lay flat on the surface and they just reel it in, skimming the top of the water. And then once at the boat, they violently swing the bass into the boat!! Why do they do this?? Because they know the line will not break, that’s why. There’s absolutely ZERO fighting and landing technique for 99% of the catches they make. They just horse it in. Now I understand WHY they do it. Because that’s maybe not just a fish to them. That’s a paycheque. Food on the table. So you want to be 100% sure to get that fish in the boat ASAP. But that’s not me. Or you.
We fish because we love it. It’s doesn’t get me sponsors, pay the rent or put food on my table. I fish for the love of the game. And arguably, the best part of the game is the fight…the battle. I’ve never quite understood why bass fisherman take so much time and effort (and expense) to go fishing… and then when they hook a fish they try to end the most exciting part of the day as quickly as possible!! And part of this reason is they see how the pros fish… and the other part is they’ve completely forgotten how (if they ever knew in the first place) how to fight and land a fish because they’ve become reliant on super-lines. I’d even say most fisherman have no idea how to properly set drag. You just see them fiddling with the drag knob until there’s a pleasing sound or something. Or they pull, by hand, at the reel until they say “That should do it!!” That’s not how you set drag. LOL (FWIW, I set my drag with a digital measuring scale. Because it matters.)
When fishing light line your accompanying gear, particularly rod selection, becomes more important. If not vital. You want the rod to take as much shock as possible. Rod too stiff and ALL the stress is on the line. Drag set incorrectly… again… more stress on the line. However, once you get both of those things correct, you’d be astounded at how heavy of a fish light line can take. For example, the first time I set my drag correctly, I was awestruck. My wife would be the rod holder and I’d hold the line with the measuring device. And I’d yank the line (several feet away) until the drag was perfect. You absolutely can not believe how much strength, rod bend, etc light line can hold. I’d be yanking the line and the rod would be bent and I’d think the line was about to snap. Then I’d look at the device and see I was only at 50% of breaking strength. And I was REALLY pulling, trying to break the line. Once you see and feel that…. you know later on that a 5 pound bass is quite unlikely to snap your line from just a fight. It’s a synergy effect. The line, rod, drag and technique all working perfectly. There is little doubt in my mind that 3 pound could take a 17 pound steelhead as in your blog post… and beyond. 100+ pound fish are regularly caught on 4lbs test… and I think the all time record is 575lbs. No, that’s not a typo. So yes, absolutely 4 lbs is enough for all of our bass fishing. If fisherman would be just willing to learn.
And when you learn? It becomes fishing zen. And does not require balls of steel. Just practice, commitment… and the will to be a better fisherman.
A Quick Thought on Ron’s Email
I started this blog, website, YouTube channel, whatever – all of ’em – so that I could get better at fishing. I was sick of taking my kids and / or wife out with nothing but a guess as to where they’d be and what they’d bite. That’s a great way to kill fishing for other people.
I was tired of failing. Tired of letting them down. Tired of seeing the look of defeat and disappointment on their faces.
And so, this process began…
Obviously, it’s still going, but messages like Ron’s – I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. How much they are appreciated. The fact that someone took the time to share something they feel is overlooked and important. It makes an impact.
In life, we all have a circle of influence.
Some of those circles are very small. Others are massive. But we can all make a difference, and our time would be best spent on doing just that – as opposed to obsessing over the “circle-size” of others.
“Once my circle is bigger, THEN I’ll be able to make a difference!”
You can make a difference today. Maybe just for one person.
It may seem small, but I assure you – it matters.
That might be a little deep for a fishing article, based on a fishing email, discussing a fishing technique… but… heh… maybe not?
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
Thank you Readers!
Thanks for visiting! I’m going to keep doing everything possible to keep the helpful content coming, and FREE FOR EVERYONE… but I need your help. Please chip in by making a small monthly contribution to keep this site alive & growing. $4.96 will buy a sweet Pack ‘o Dingers, and with it, I promise to catch many bass in your honor. Thanks. You are a gentleman & a scholar! -AJ
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